Listeners on the fringes or weak spots of WAER's broadcast signal probably noticed a big change in recent days... they can actually hear us again! The station recently installed a new transmitter that brings our signal to it's FCC licensed 50,000 watts. As radio equipment goes, WAER's old transmitter could no longer do the job, and was running at low power for months.
WAER Director of Programming and Operations Ron Ockert said, "WAER is very pleased to restore our broadcast signal to the full power that our license allows in a continuing effort to serve our listeners with the best reception possible.”
WAER Chief Engineer Dan Gurzynski says despite his best efforts to keep the old unit going, it was time to replace the 23-year-old CCA transmitter with a much more modern one:
The new transmitter is a much more efficient, solid-state model made by Gates Air, formerly Harris, which has been in the industry for decades.
Gurzynski says the new unit weighs in at about 1,500 lbs, and has two, 10 kilowatt modules. Each module has 16 smaller modules to avoid complete failure of the entire transmitter. He says the old unit not only couldn't handle the power load, but because CCA went out of business more than 10 years ago, repairs were becoming more difficult:
The installation of the new transmitter took about four weeks, and cost around $75,000. It's a major investment by WAER to ensure the station continues to operate in the best possible way for its listeners.